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Messages - richardgurtler

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Alio Die & Lingua Fungi "Otter Songs" CD

Always very prolific collaborator Stefano Musso/Alio Die this time travels to the Nordic territories to complete his premiere joint effort album with Finnish sound sculptor Jaakko Padatsu of Lingua Fungi project. "Otter Songs" album, released in February 2012 on Hic Sunt Leones, immediately strikes with its eye-catching black & gold artwork on 6-panel digipak. Really gorgeous!!! The opening tones of "Angler's Lantern" precisely display the images and show the direction the duo is heading, where deeper, cavernous drones are hauntingly accompanied by various stringed instruments like zither, psaltery or sitar as well as by other, self-made instruments and found objects. Yes, this introduction is deeply evocative and immersing and masterfully fuses electronic enhancements with fragile and filigree acoustics. I am hooked immediately!!! "Otter's Song" is more expressive and organic, less droning, but as much imaginative as the first composition. Field recordings pleasingly color the overall feel of this stunningly mysterious composition, this can be an anthem for your nocturnal musings!!! "Weeping Spruce" moves to slightly more minimal, oddly eclectic, cacophonic and meditative realms, painting truly unique, otherworldly images, which evoke a walk through sombre mist-filled forest. "Down The Sun Trail", as its name suggests, is another breathtaking exploration showcasing polished synergy of abyssal drones, scary phonographic sounds, acoustic wizardry and eerie overtone singing and chants. A truly virtuoso performance guaranteeing a deeper, shamanistic journey into the cave of the listener's mind!!! But richly picturesque and powerfully expansive soundworlds keep on invading, "Birds And Currants" follow the footsteps of its predecessor, while naturally sounding at the beginning, but in the second third entering into more dramatic terrains with culminating intensity. Psychoactive sonic substance at its best!!! Slightly more relieving outro "Fount Of Flowing Water" attracts with another batch of unsettling drifts, exotic strings, environmental sounds and voice magics. When I have heard for the first time about this upcoming album, I didn't know what to expect as I was not familiar with previous Lingua Fungi works (two solo CDs and one split CD released before), but the final result is beautifully primordial and mysteriously magnificent!!! "Otter Songs" move me into transcendental realms of pure sonic bliss!!! Not far behind the phenomenal "Fissures"...

Richard Gürtler (Mar 24, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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Just a little reminder, don't miss Gregory Kyryluk/Alpha Wave Movement today at The Rotunda, Philadelphia, on One Thousand Pulses festival, together with other respected veterans and talented newcomers.

http://www.hypnos.com/smf/index.php?topic=4774.0
http://relaxedmachinery.ning.com/profiles/blogs/one-thousand-pulses-philadelphia-saturday-march-24-w-alpha-wave?xg_source=activity



Have a great time!!!

Richard

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Within Reason "Subtle Shift" CDr

Here comes a big one from ambitious US label Periphery, based in New Jersey, leaded by respected music journalist, publisher and curator Darren Bergstein (now also one half of Groupthink project). The packaging, limited to 50 copies, is the first thing that raised my eyebrows, "Subtle Shift" is housed in a round tin with window displaying the CDr, while the back of the tin features track and release info printed on transparent sticker. Yes, someone might say that this is nothing really groundbreaking, but it looks elegant and attractive! Behind the project name of Within Reason is hidden noone else than Gregory Kyryluk, the sole creator of Alpha Wave Movement and Open Canvas, and also one half of Thought Guild with the late Christopher Cameron. Introducing here his debut work as Within Reason, Greg fires this magnetically mesmerizing performance with title piece, "Subtle Shift", which fuses harmonious ambient soundscapes with pulsing high-tech hypnotics, and is carefully fragranced by natural sounds and whispering voices. Stunning intro, a true medicine for my ears!!! The next one, "Memory Filament", is a subtle, uplifting texture crossed with dub techno elements, freshly beating and soaring above listener's head and reaching perfect symmetry between luminous soundworlds and hypnotizing pulses. "Bodhi" presents colorful and joyous tapestry of moods and sounds with Middle East-fragranced chants thrown in here and there. It will appeal to anyone looking for an adventure in sound sculpting. "Grey Area" strikes immediately with its slowly growing, heartbeating groovy atmosphere. Various high-tech electrifying sounds stunningly enrich this ultimate "Hall Of Fame" composition. Transporting experience awaits!!! But virtuoso performance keeps on going, "Carbon Interface" is as much phenomenal as its predecessor. Highly evocative washes with crystalline razor-sharp cyber effects shift this composition into magnificently uncharted realms. This is a true celebration of sonic synergy between human bravura and state-of-the-art technology!!! Warmly pulsing "Nimbus" is hauntingly colored with pleasant hisses and creates melodic delicacy with magical aura. "Liquid Language" jumps into more active space carefully bridging trance-inducing soundscapes with funky-like rhythms and hints of didgeridoo and voice samples in Czech language...:-) The closing piece, "Deeper Below", immediately starts as its title suggests, but then it glides smoothly through mid-paced cinematic cyber terrains. "Subtle Shift" is sensational, vibrant and immersing hypermodern masterpiece, all-inclusive with audiophile-quality sound, showcasing undisputable creativity and musicality of its creator. I can't help, but wizards like Gregory Kyryluk should live from music and create sonic pearls like this full-time, unfortunately it's not the case. One of the highlights of 2012 so far!!!

Richard Gürtler (Mar 20, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)


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And of course this is another beauty not to miss!!!

Richard

305
Seeing my fellow countryman Emil/Strom Noir on DataObscura it's like my dream came true!!! Really looking forward to explore it!!!

Richard

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Recent music purchases
« on: March 15, 2012, 01:52:37 PM »
All 3 new Aglaia CDs/CDrs are highly recommended!!! Just the same with both new Alio Die's co-works with Lingua Fungi and Antonio Testa, plus live CDr by Alio Die & Zeit. Yes, the limited CDr editions in handmade digipaks look very nice too, collector's items!!! But than can be said also on all Hic Sunt Leones digipaks. And there is out now also new Alio Die CD on Projekt. All these Italian guys seem to be very productive. Highly recommended!!!

Richard

307
Yes, a very busy release schedule on Gterma, definitely a very promising label to keep an eye on!!!

Richard

308


Robert Davies "The Alchemy Of Nature" CDr

The beginning of 2012 brings the brand new sonic statement of Ithaca, New York, based sound sculptor, painter and designer Robert Davies. Deeper, organic ambience invades the opening piece, "Intrinsic Essence", which is gently fused with various environmental and industrial fragrances and swiftly takes the listener to fascinating and adventurous night excursion across the forest to explore its nocturnal wildlife. "Transpiration" is less droning, but more spiralingly textured piece colored with the forest's singing, bustling and breathing. Another truly exciting experience to meet all the weird and wonderful creatures who live together and create the circle of life. Magnificently tranquil!!! Smoothly and serenely gliding "Of Moth And Snail" evokes spectacular poetic vistas with magical sunlight passing between the trees. It's slightly reminiscent of Rudy Adrian's "Desert Realms", but I am sure it was not intentional, just a kind of lucky coincidence, but a really beautiful one I must say!!! The next piece, "Cryptogamous Permutations", is a monotonously flowing gloomy dronescape attractively enriched by "singing" cicadas. "Quintessence" keeps on the same, mystically painted, trails, but slightly more uplifting and sensitive throughout. "In Thistle Shade" with its shadowy drones maps eerie and rugged forested terrains, and provides an appealing conclusion to this stirring journey. "The Alchemy Of Nature" is a rewarding listening session, and I can highly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in experiencing breathtaking sceneries of sparklingly green, virginally wide and mysteriously foggy forest landscapes. And also another significant proof of the steady talent, credibility and consistence of both, Robert Davies and DataObscura!!! And stay tuned for upcoming "Winter Gardens" release, the 4th album by The Winterhouse, Robert's co-work project with Anthony Paul Kerby...

Richard Gürtler (Mar 11, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

309


Aglaia "Otherworldliness" CD

Italian sound alchemists Aglaia, Gino Fioravanti and Gianluigi Toso, were quite prolific during 2011, because in February 2012 they have released on Stefano Musso's Hic Sunt Leones three new albums (except "Otherworldliness" also "Absolutely Deep" CD plus "Out Of The Way" CDr). Last year they brought to us two phenomenal works, solo album "Nights In Nubiland" and also "Vayu Rouah" co-work with Alio Die. And they return in big shape again!!! "Otherworldliness", consisting of 15 tracks, ignites the show with rather more massive dronescape entitled "Dust Across The Border", that perfectly sets the atmosphere for the rest of the album. Poetic washes with cicadas on "Moon Rock" head to warmly inviting nocturnal journey. Joyously ethereal "Landing Field" and beautifully euphoric "Bright Sky" with unique effects immediately steal the show, emotionally rich, intimate and gorgeous compositions!!! "Geomagnetic Pole" ventures into freezing experimental fields, before returning into more idyllic travelogue, yet still colored here and there with few surprising sonic eruptions. The title track, "Otherworldliness", just like its predecessor, keeps its unique, strongly immersing feel enriched by gently heartbeating abyssal effects. Heart-warming washes on "Germination" bring the journey to absolutely charming and magnificently evocative aural ecstasy and present Aglaia at the pedestal of ultimate blissfulness!!! The next four compositions, "Divergent Cycle", "Substratum", "The Bridge Of Sights" and "Desire", unite celestial and experimental zones into one specific, but essential blend holding undisputed signature of Aglaia. "A Desert Place" unveils with sadly desolate feelings while the following piece, "The Cycle Of The Seasons", voyages through deeply cavernous spaces with some distinctive organic-infused sounds. Colossally gradual dronescapes invade "Highest Point" and capture another breathlessly fantastic sonic experience!!! Second part of title composition "Otherworldliness" is mesmerizingly shimmering and closes this incredibly distinguishing and highly sophisticated performance with all shine and graciousness!!! And of course the visual part of the album (6-panel digipak) is as much stunning. Splendido!!!

Richard Gürtler (Mar 11, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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I just did a little correction in my review. I somehow missed info from Tomas Weiss that "Submental Vol. 1" is just him this time, without Mathias Grassow. In any case, I am absolutely fascinated by this work, no matter if it's without or with Mathias. Great work, Tomas, and excuse for my misinterpretation. Keep on going!!!

Richard

311


Nautic Depths "Submental Vol. 1" CDr

Deep sea drone scientist, Tomas Weiss acting under the moniker of Nautic Depths (on previous two albums featuring also Mathias Grassow), returns after two years with brand new installment and first volume of the "Submental" series. Volume 1, released in February 2012 on El Culto's new Submental label, features one long-form piece clocking to nearly 51 minutes that will immediately submerge us into the most bizzare zones of the ocean. This highly adventurous odyssey opens very sharply with heavy weight drone alchemy, for the first, roughly 5 minutes, in more static shape, but holding undeniable signature of this project. Things get a bit quieter, but just for some shorter time and our expectations are soon surpassed when intense dronescapes invade the depths. Noisier industrial outbursts dive in and we explore some environmental sounds reminiscent of underwater calls of fishes or whales as well as mysteriously distant voices and chants. The drone layering becomes deeper, richer and more massive, long, continuous monstrous drifts amazingly interplay with louder sonic eruptions, all wrapped in gradually sinking and culminating tension to capture truly penetrating and mind-bending deep sea observation experience. A true sonic bliss served by Nautic Depths!!! A gateway to enter another zone, a zone where sunlight can't go through. We are invaded by the realm of darkness, but this is also the time to explore the spectacular show of incredible bioluminescent creatures that inhabit this gloomy domain. Tinkling bells attractively color this breathtaking performance, the pressure is relieving a bit and we enjoy spiralingly serene drone that smoothly navigates us to another rougher territory, colored by twinkling rumblings. But still remaining in rather calmer and tranquil static zones. The time is clocking to its finale, we are reaching almost abyssal zone, but it's time for safe return... Thank you so much for this fascinatingly thrilling and strikingly attractive journey!!! Keep the bathyscaphe ready, I can't wait for the next exploration!!!

Richard Gürtler (Mar 06, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

312


Thought Guild "Third Voyage" CDr

"Third Voyage", released in February 2012 on Harmonic Resonance Recordings, marks the third and unfortunately the last chapter of collaboration betweeen Alpha Wave Movement's Gregory Kyryluk and his country mate, synthesist Christopher Cameron, who passed away on August 22, 2011. Before exploring the vintage synth sound of this final voyage, we are confronted with nicely looking retro packaging with 5.25 floppy disc, released in a limited edition of 50 copies and hand numbered. Definitely a true collector's item!!! "Third Voyage" unfolds with celestially elated and tranquilly sweeping texture, "The Ebbing Universe". Its warmly inviting and graceful atmosphere is nicely emphasized by agelic choir-like sounds and tenderly tinkling effects. Excellent opener!!! "Iridescent Universe" is slightly more eclectic and expressive in its first half with stronger nostalgic feel, towards the end it becomes more serene and aerial. Charming ethereal mid-tempo melodies invade the next piece, "Last Train To Lyon", and attractively interplay with occasional, evocative and catchy electric guitar riffs. Emotionally strong and exciting composition!!! Darker and deeper intro of "Retropolis" soon slips into actively rhythmed and ever-changing tune. Hauntingly rich, colorful and uplifting blend of melodies and atmospheres. "Moon Blossom Meditation" is dominated by evocative and immersing sorrow soundscapes enriched by crispy bells. The next piece, "VCO Vs. DCO", keeps at the beginning its sad, more orchestral-like feel, but later it quickly cascades into rapidly and dynamically vibrant and refreshing sequence patterns. "Titanium Ashram" attracts with its sky high ride spiced with crystalline gurgles shimmeringly swirling around listener's ears. Peaceful and graceful washes enter "Celestial Glossolalia" and carry it with fragilely pulsing effects into vast open realms with all its sublimity and magnificence, pure aural beauty and majestic way to finish off this highly treasured voyage!!! Gregory Kyryluk definitely succeded in his mission to reflect the vintage atmosphere/vibe of the Thought Guild history and paid tribute to the memory of Christopher Cameron. Thank you so much, Greg, for sharing these memorable moments and recordings with us, Chris will always be remembered through his music, creativity and passion!!!

Richard Gürtler (Mar 04, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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I really wish I could be there to enjoy this memorial event...

Richard

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Phillip Wilkerson "The Stars And Afterward" CDr

The newest work of Phillip Wilkerson, released in February 2012, exposes with Berlin EM school infected "Monoceros", a freshly sequenced and gently uplifting journey to observe one of the amazing constellations while mapping out nocturnal patterns. "Among The Nebulae" is dominated by aerial washes and colored by mid-tempo high-tech grooves that smoothly glide and relax body and mind of each listener. Mechanical tranquility at its finest!!! Long form deep and free floating space odyssey "Radiance" clocks over 21 minutes and explores awesome majesty of immense space realms. It paints moods that transport us to some spectacularly unique dimensions. Phil's crafted soundscaping shines on this beautifully immersing and joyous piece!!! "Endlessly Spiraling" keeps its dream-like quality with little touch of nostalgic mood, and it precisely fits its title. With "Seven Degrees North Of Castor", a warmly pulsing composition, we observe again deep sky targets. Ambient mix of "Among The Nebulae" marks return to peacefully floating skyscapes and captures the magnificence of sublime and idyllic tranquility. Serenely drifting title track, "The Stars And Afterward", closes the album with all its grace. Phil Wilkerson filled this album with passion and optimism, he skillfully bridged and harmonically interacted electronic rhythms with soundscapings. And he ensured that each space journeyer experiences a highly productive night of star gazing. Mastered by Lotuspike's Ben Cox and artwork executed by Brad Ross-MacLeod. Don't forget, also remastered version of long form piece "Radiance" is available as download EP.

Richard Gürtler (Feb 26, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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As a really big fan of all Greg's projects, I can't miss his Within Reason "Subtle Shift" CD, it looks and sounds absolutely exciting. Just ordered through his HRR website. And time to explore other Periphery releases. Thank you, Darren, for bringing these releases to us!!!

Richard

316


Mathias Grassow "Alchemystery" 2xCD

Promising Swedish label Gterma returns with another beauty by German drone virtuoso, Mathias Grassow. While his first Gterma release "Sky" was revised and edited old classic from 2000, "Alchemystery" is new double album composed by Mathias during 2010 and released in February 2012. The first CD, entitled as "Alchemy Suite Part I: Adrift On A Strange Wind" and featuring two compositions, unfolds with absolutely serene, nearly 17 minutes long, piece enriched by beautiful sounds of nature like smoothly flowing water sounds and by alluring interactions of celestial femme and male choirs. "Veiled Auranauts" is not only a truly magnificent composition of sublime tranquility, but also nicely displayed atmosphere through its title. The next long form piece, "Obscured By A Falling Light", clocks over 42 minutes and enters at the beginning into more minimal and meditative realms leaded by bells and gongs. After few minutes the composition sneaks into motionless floating ambience, occasionally spiced with some noisier, factory-like ingredients. Also mysterious voice-like and breathing machine-like sounds enter the show and will ensure the most complete adventurous and immersing experience. This composition produces tremendous sense of unmeasurable tranquility even if traversing through several plateaus, from intense dramas through cinematic vistas to meditative introspections. This masterful composition captures the pure magnificence of sophisticated dronescaping by Mathias Grassow!!! The disc two, entitled "Alchemy Suite Part II: Inside The Inner", features again two tracks and opens with "In A Temple Of Longing", another long form piece reaching 43 and half minutes. As portrayed by its title, this composition moves into massively darker, obscure territories spiced by various sacred choirs, odd voice samples, monumental percussions and all backed by endlessly spiraling drones presenting Mathias Grassow's sound alchemy at the most shadowy and enigmatic in search to explore all mysteries, buried treasures and secrets of Mother Earth. A truly exciting ambient dronescape for those infinite nocturnal journeys that you just never want to end. Another masterpiece holding the signature that is only Mathias Grassow!!! "A Ring Of Standing Stones", clocking to 25 and half minutes, is by far less colossal and more droning, where quieter ambience is fused with fragilely tinkling bells. At times it becomes more intense, but still gracefully drifting into awesome majesty of splendid panoramic vistas. "Alchemystery" is enormously penetrating!!! The drone king is sitting on his throne!!! Last but not least, Mathias Grassow's aural alchemy is accompanied by 16-page booklet featuring gorgeous pictures of nature by Johan Rehn/Gterma.

Richard Gürtler (Feb 19, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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Independent Music Reviews / My review of "Liveforms" CD by Oxyd
« on: February 19, 2012, 04:42:03 AM »


Oxyd "Liveforms" CD

It's always a great pleasure to review album "Made in Slovakia" that is somehow related to ambient genre. Yes, of course both protagonists of Oxyd (and Disharmony), Lord Sauron and Ryby, always venture into other styles like industrial, electro, dark ambient or IDM, but why not to give a try to this richly colorful sonic adventure melting broader spectrum of synthetic atmozones, noises and rhythms. Yes, don't expect here any type of droning or slow-motion ambience to glide with. This album, featuring recordings of live performances in 2005, is loaded with ever-changing and cascading high-tech passages and movements, heading from mysteriously obscure terrains through futuristic industrial factories to mesmerizing vast outer spaces. "Liveforms" open the journey with fragile, mechanized effects that are masterfully fused with active hypnotic grooves and carefully backed by euphoric atmospheres. Man, this title track is a huge one, a true masterpiece in my ears!!! The first part of "Dead Souls" moves into by far darker, cinematic territories peppered with femme choirs and manufacture-like sonic outbursts, evoking a purely futuristically sounding environment that almost unrecognized overlaps also into the next composition, "Propulsion". But soon it transfers into much more noisier and heavier, beat-infected industrialized area. All the tension is gone when the second part of "Dead Souls" enters the stage, but that might be just the silence before the storm. Yes, this composition soon turns into shorter, more disturbing percussive part with femme voice samples that interplay with another deeply immersing futuristic zones. "Voices In Me" is the first of the two tracks where Oxyd meets Disharmony. This composition again bridges various styles where synthetic rhythms are united with darker atmospheres, kind of electro-trance-industrial escapade with few monk chants thrown in. Third and fourth parts of "Dead Souls" are colored with various femme choirs, assorted voice samples and all wrapped in misty atmosfears of otherworldly or fantastic machineries. "Emphatic Clone" is the second piece on which Oxyd meets Disharmony and it kicks right away in your face with high-tech crystalline beats and extraterrestrial voices, stunningly energetic!!! Closing two tracks, "Moonlight" and "Aura", quickly dive with cinematic atmospheres enriched by sacred chants into darkly apocalyptic abyssal depths. "Liveforms", released in collaboration with US label Signifier, is vividly sculpted sonic chamaeleon transporting the listener into many spectacularly adventurous and mysterious sites. Yes, it's not a secret here, I am the guy who likes his music much more droning, atmospheric, without larger doses of industrialized or dark ambient toppings. However, "Liveforms" album will undoubtedly please all connoisseurs of dark-electro-industrial as well as all followers of Aliens Production label. Nice work, guys!!!

Richard Gürtler (Feb 19, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Your favorite Steve Roach pieces
« on: February 12, 2012, 09:57:22 AM »
Nice idea, DeepR, and yes, a truly difficult task to select the best pieces. Just a quick selection of my top fave pieces, but I am quite sure I didn't mention all I wanted...:-) In no particular order, although "Gone from Here" with Jorge Reyes is a very special one for me that always will be connected to Jorge's passing...

Gone from Here (Vine ~ Bark & Spore with Jorge Reyes)
Connected Underground (Origins)
First Blessing (Earth Island with Jorge Reyes and Suso Saiz)
Dissolving the Code (Blood Machine with Vir Unis)
After the Dream (The Lost Pieces)
Depart at Sunrise (The Road Eternal with Erik Wĝllo)
Living the Dream (Life Sequence)
The Road Eternal (The Road Eternal with Erik Wĝllo)
Where Rasa Lives (Back to Life)
Resonation Revelation (Core) -> using this one as my mobile ringtone... :)
Curandera (Earth Island with Jorge Reyes and Suso Saiz)
Nightbloom Part 1 (Nightbloom with Mark Seelig)
Since We Are Away (The Lost Pieces)
On This Planet (On This Planet)
Fearless (Strata with Robert Rich)
East Kiva: Calling in the Midnight Water (Kiva with Michael Stearns and Ron Sunsinger)
Gone West (Dust to Dust with Roger King)
Deep Hours (Well of Souls with Vidna Obmana)

and many more... :)

Richard

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Recent music purchases
« on: February 05, 2012, 11:20:26 AM »
Yes, three great albums!!!

Richard

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Just ordered, Tomas! All the best... :)

Richard

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